I have been helping people manage and implement change for years and I know how really, really difficult it is for some people.
It appears as we get older, our cognitive process significantly changes which seems to make learning new things harder than it was when we were in our youth. In my observation, people that are exposed to new thinking and change regularly, are far more comfortable and adept to cope with it.
To help you better cope with the inevitable changes you are facing as you get older, I have prepared a list of my 8 top tips:
- When needing to learn new technology, read the instructions twice.
- Get a clear picture of what the change/new equipment will do and what its successful introduction looks like.
- Allocate sufficient time to learn it, without distractions – which might be double or triple what your 18 year old self would need.
- Engage someone that knows how the new equipment or process works, to help you learn and give support.
- Take photos or a video with your phone to help you create visual references.
- Take notes and write them up as bullet points (these are your own written procedures – written how you think).
- Practice while it is fresh in your mind.
- Critical to repeat the practice multiple times to imbed your learning.
The need to learn new things is a given, therefore the best way to view change and learning opportunities is to embrace the benefits and positives right from the beginning. It will not magically get any easier, but your positive mindset will mean you will be less open to self-sabotage or influence of your cynical peers?
Here are a few more things that really will help:
- Be kind to yourself by focusing on the things where you have more expertise.
- Get started, get a sense of the scope of change and break it into little steps.
- Stay positive, often the change is much less difficult than you thought.
- Embrace working in collaboration and value mixed-age teams, not only do young people have a different mindset but also they have less to unlearn.
- There is a growing percentage of our population that were born during this digital revolution and they have never known a world minus the current technology.
Many of the changes we face in our businesses and life are only a problem as we pass through the point of change or if we don’t manage to change and get stuck.
I have already talked about how to adapt to change but as well as that I encourage you to put these strategies in place to make sure you don’t get stuck:
- Read and learn as much as you can about all the changes happening around you.
- Be inquisitive, search out unexpected benefits.
- Help the people around you that aren’t coping as well as you are – teach them what you know.
- Look to create as many customer benefits as possible from the change.
- Realise that some changes might influence the balance of power and create new winners and losers. This may be the cause of you needing to retrain or start something completely new. This too is an opportunity, even though it doesn’t feel like it.
- Believe in yourself, you are far more capable than you can ever imagine.
Enjoy the challenge, don’t fear being humbled and hold on to your sense of humor. After all, these are some of our greatest human traits.